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UN General Assembly passes resolution condemning Myanmar rights record

[JURIST] The UN General Assembly [official website] Wednesday adopted a resolution [press release] criticizing human rights violations in Myanmar [JURIST news archive]. The resolution also called for the release of political prisoners, and expressed dissatisfaction with the country's transition to democracy, which, it alleges, has lacked transparency and fairness. An unnamed Myanmar representative in the chamber agreed that human exploitation was unacceptable, but defended his country's efforts to democratize and called the resolution "blatant interference" with its political autonomy. The resolution passed passed 80-25 [resolutions summary] with 45 nations abstaining.

Human rights advocacy groups and UN officials including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [JURIST reports] have recently expressed concern over excessively harsh prison terms issued to dissidents by Myanmar judges. Myanmar, which has been ruled by its military since 1988, has been under increased international pressure to democratize since well-publicized anti-government protests [JURIST report] in 2007.

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